Reasonable character limit for a comment field on a site feedback form?
I have a simple feedback form (see screenshot) on each page on a site. The user has to select whether the page was helpful or not (radio buttons yes/no) and there is also a text area input where the user can add extra information about how we could improve the page.
Would you recommend I have a character limit on this field (i've seen it done on other sites that are similar to mine) and if so, what would be a reasonable character limit to set?
N.b. I can't find a similar question about character limits on feedback/comment fields so please edit if there is a similar question already posted (I'm surprised I can't find one).
I would also consider whether or not you want scroll bars and the size the actual text box is going to take up. Your character ceiling may, therefore, be determined for you by the size of your textbox given the limitations of your layout
Further to ChrisF's comment you would prolly be looking at varchar(MAX) (about 8k characters) - for mssql databases.
Further to AndroidHustle, you could add ellipsis to convey that more content exists beyond your textarea...just a thought. Have a nice day, be well.
@brumScouse yea sure, that's definitely a way to do it. Or gradually having the text turn transparent as it reaches the limit is also a way of conveying this. I do think however that I like the ellipsis more.
@brumScouse I would very strongly recommend against limiting the length by the size of the text box; if your box is too small to add scroll bars, it's too small for feedback
I would recommend a No Limit for the text field upon composing but a suitable limit upon listing.
What I mean is that if the user is limited to expressing their opinion in a regulated fashion the true nature of their opinion could be altered. They may need 752 characters to express their opinion but you've set the limit to 500 characters, what should they exclude and will the experience in this case perhaps even push them towards not posting a response at all?
I believe that putting a limit would injure quality and quantity of feedback.
Instead, have no limit when the user is composing, but have a limit when listing the user posts clearly indicating when a post stretches beyond the specified limit.
I'm thinking along the lines of what this site has done for listing opinions on consumer electronics. You see a draft of the post, if the post stretches beyond the limit the user is invited to expand to show the whole post in its entirety.
This will invite users to express them selves as they wish and not feel obligated to formulate themselves in a way set up by the system.
nice points, but these feedback comments won't actually be displayed on the site anywhere. They will be sent as an email to a designated email address.
@DaveHaigh I must agree with Lisa. The feedback will be crippled if you limit its content. If you just ignore the part of displaying the feedback in my answer the rest still applies to your conundrum as I see it.
@AndroidHustle I agree with you, thanks again for the answer. Just wanted to clarify to you where these comments will be going/displayed.
And even if you would show the presentation, you could just limit the view with a `show more` button at the bottom.
This is great advice, but there are a few issues that are overlooked. Unlimited feedback is an interesting concept until the page suddenly takes a very long time to load because a malicious user uploaded a few gigabytes of data. Obviously there needs to be some technical limitation to how much information is stored.
@zzzzBov well yea. allowing everything would be problematic it you come across some malicious users. =) I'm sure there would be no problem specifying a limit that practically never should be reached in conventional use.